Making the decision to start a business all your own can be one of the most freeing moments of your life. It can also be one of the most terrifying. Oftentimes, those with the entrepreneurial spirit will have typically walked to the beat of a different drum for many years of their lives, wondering what it is they want to be ‘when they grow up’. For those who finally come to the conclusion they are ready to take the bull by the horns and start their own business, the Internet is a wonderful place. It can help connect you with like-minded people who see things the way you do. It is also a source of tremendous resources that weren’t always available to entrepreneurs who have gone before you. Everything from business law to tax information to marketing tactics can be found online. On the other side of this coin, all this information can cause a brain meltdown because there is simply too much to sort through during the decision making process.
When I started out, I had wanted to do something for a loooooong time but it all finally came together when my only child was about to start kindergarten and I didn’t want her shuffled from a full day of school to daycare 5 days a week. It was the kick in the pants I needed to just do it.
We’ve made up a list of things to think about when initially thinking about starting to work for yourself. Ultimately, the decision is yours and should not be influenced by anything or anybody. Take a look at some things to consider:
Consider the Meltdown
As mentioned, a lot of information is now available to would-be entrepreneurs. If you have begun your quest to learn more about starting a business and the information is too daunting, give that fact some thought. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur and if the fact-finding missions you must undertake overwhelm you, you may not be ready to step up to the demands of an actual business just yet.
Narrow Your Search
Before logging on to the web, sit with an old-fashioned pen and paper and list all of your ideas for a new business – whatever comes to mind about what you envision just jot it down. On a separate sheet of paper, construct a list of pros and cons about what starting a business will mean to you and your family. Be sure to include physical, financial, and emotional pros and cons on your list.
Call A Family Meeting
The potentially life-changing decision is not solely yours if you have a spouse and/or children living with you or relying on you financially. Have a sit-down with your family about your self-employment ideas. Be open and not close-minded or defensive about their concerns or questions. You WILL need the support of your family and friends to be successful in business. While you may be the owner of a business, you are not in this alone.
Do the Math
Unless you are independently wealthy, you must plan out your financial present and future. Will your new business reduce or eliminate your current income? Do you have available cash to invest in the company and enough to live on for the first 6-12 months? Find out what it takes to start up your business idea then consider if it is something you can comfortably live with. Remember that during the start up phase of most new businesses, you will not turn much of a profit and likely have to put money you do make right back into the business rather than take a paycheck.
Consider the Why’s
Owning your own business may seem like a cool idea in theory – but if you are seriously considering the jump, ask yourself why you want to do it and then get ready to answer yourself honestly. Really think about the motives behind your ideas. Some sample questions to pose to yourself include:
- Are you genuinely prepared to go all the way to achieve your business goals on your own?
- Are you just sick of going to work?
- Do you want to pursue your dreams?
- Do you just want to do what your friends are doing?
Celebrate Whatever Happens
Whether you ultimately decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’, celebrate either decision. If it’s a no-go, at least you worked through the process and made a mature decision. If the answer is ‘yes’ celebrate the milestone in your life and your future – but don’t party too much – you’ve got a business to start.